Grand Prix of Italy – Race

News since Qualifying: “Jenson Button will not race in Formula 1 in 2017 but will remain with McLaren as an ambassador. The 2009 world champion will work with the team and could race again in 2018, having signed a two-year contract.” [BBC]

Provisional grid: HAM, ROS, VET, RAI, BOT, RIC, VES, PER, HUL, GUT, MAS, ALO, WEH, BUT, SAI, KVY, GRO*, NAS, ERI, PAL, MAG, OCO
*GRO has dropped 5 spots due to a gearbox change

I don’t know why they bother trying to talk to Bernie Ecclestone – he avoid the questions and never treats them seriously.

Pirelli have recommended drivers do no more than 39 laps on the medium compound tyres, 34 on softs, and 20 on supersofts. The fastest strategy seems to be 2-stopping, but some may try 1-stopping.

Majority starting on supersofts; HAM, ROS, MAS, WEH, SAI and the guys at the back of the grid are on soft, except OCO on mediums.

Air temperature 29°C; track 38°C; hazy and humid

HAM leads everyone away on the formation lap
He’s setting quite a pace, stringing everyone out – he’ll have a long wait for the grid to form up

01/53: Great start from VET
HAM down to P4 as they enter the first chicane
Approaching Parabolica, HAM is down to P6

02: ROS, VET, RAI, BOT, RIC, HAM, PER, MAS, ALO, HUL, VES, GRO, WEH, SAI, KVY
PAL and NAS interlock wheels in the chicane – NAS spins
Looks like PAL has lost his front wing
HAM takes P5 from RIC

03: ROS fastest lap 1:27.726
PAL pits for a new front wing
NAS has made it back to the pits too

04: HAM uses DRS to close on the Mercedes-powered Williams of BOT
Replay of the start – HAM reacted well as the lights went out but his car bogged down

05/53: ROS, VET, RAI, BOT, HAM, RIC, PER, MAS, ALO, HUL
ROS f/lap 1:27.243

06: Radio for HAM reminding him the 3 cars ahead are on supersofts which will start degrading in the next few laps
Radio from RAI – vibration under braking
NAS is in the pits again and retires

07: ROS f/lap 1:27.234
Radio for RAI – need you to cool the engine; RAI says “I can’t slow down”
BUT threads his way through traffic in the chicane, passing GUT & MAG for P17

08: ROS f/lap 1:27.130
VES closing on ALO

09: PAL pits again – looks like he’s retiring
HAM all over the rear of BOT

10/53: ROS, VET, RAI, BOT, HAM, RIC, PER, MAS, VES, ALO, HUL, GRO, WEH, SAI, BUT, KVY, ERI, GUT, MAG, OCO; retirements: PAL, NAS
ROS f/lap 1:26.846
Radio for HAM telling him to look after his tyres
NAS given a 10-sec penalty for the incident with PAL, although they’re both out of the race

11: HAM finally takes P4 from BOT
ROS has opened a 5.5sec lead over VET; HAM is 12sec behind ROS

12: ROS f/lap 1:26.760
Radio from HAM – rear tyres are pretty wasted already

14: BOT is the first to pit, followed by VES, ALO and KVY
Radio for HAM – pick up the pace, 3 laps until his stop

15/53: ROS, VET, RAI, HAM, RIC, PER, MAS, HUL, GRO, WEH, SAI, BUT, BOT, ERI, GUT, VES, MAG, ALO, OCO, KVY
HUL pits
BOT makes a move on BOT… and then SAI, to rise to P10 after his pit stop

16: RAI pits, as does PER
RAI goes to supersofts, so he’ll have to pit again
NAS is on track again, although he’s 10 laps down – is that just so he can serve the penalty and avoid it being carried forward?

17: ROS over 11sec clear of VET
VET pits from P2; supersofts; 3.9sec stop is a bit slow; rejoins P3 just ahead of RAI
Replay of ALO’s stop shows the “traffic light” was red, telling him the team are still working on the car so he’s waved out by a mechanic

19: NAS back in the pits

20/53: ROS, HAM, VET, RAI, BOT, RIC, GRO, PER, VES, MAS

22: Radio from HAM saying tyres are OK now; told stop will be target+2
PER past GRO for P7
ALO takes P12 from SAI

23: HAM is 12.5sec behind his teammate
ROS about to lap OCO (P18)

24: SAI and ERI pit

25/53: ROS pits; medium tyres; 3.9sec stop – looks like front right tyre going on hit the one coming off because ROS was a fraction past his mark
ROS rejoins P2

26: HAM pits; mediums; clean stop; rejoins P4
Radio for HAM – the Ferraris must stop again, we just need to match their times

Half distance

27: ROS f/lap 1:26.599 – that’s 0.5sec faster than the supersoft shod Ferraris

28: HAM f/lap 1:26.303
Radio for WEH – stop the car and switch off; WEH checks “stop immediately?”; confirmed

29: PER pits – his second stop

30/53: ROS, VET, RAI, HAM, BOT, RIC, VES, MAS, HUL, ALO, PER, BUT, GUT, GRO, SAI, KVY, ERI, MAG, OCO; retirements: WEH, PAL, NAS

31: BOT pits from P5; softs; 2.3sec stop; rejoins P9

32: MAG pits just as the front runners are lapping him
PER takes P10 from ALO

33: BOT easily past HUL for P8

34: VET pits from P2; softs; rejoins P5
HUL and ALO pit too

35/53: RAI pits; rejoins P6, behind VES

36: VES pits, saving RAI the challenge of passing him
KVY under investigation for speeding in the pit lane

37: MAS pits; supersofts; rejoins P10
KVY given a 5 second penalty
Radio for BUT – โ€œCars on your pit window are about to be lapped. They will lose time. Your pace is good.โ€

38: RIC pits; rejoins P6 behind BOT
KVY pits; pushed into the garage

40/53: ROS, HAM, VET, RAI, BOT, RIC, PER, VES, MAS, HUL, GRO, ALO, SAI, BUT, GUT, ERI, MAG, OCO; retirements: KVY, WEH, PAL, NAS

41: HAM locks up into the first chicane; has to cut the corner
SAI pits; rejoins P6

42: Radio for HAM – just be careful of the lock-ups; seems a bit unnecessary to tell him that, surely?

43: RAI f/lap 1:26.287
Radio for VES warning him to stay a car’s width away from the left side of the main straight because of marbles
RIC closing on BOT
SAI takes P15 from ERI

44: RAI f/lap 1:26.268

45/53: BUT dives down the inside of ALO into the first chicane; takes P12 from his teammate
ALO tries to fight back but BUT pulls away

46: RIC still closing on BOT; he’s now in DRS range
VES closing on PER for P7

47: RIC f/lap 1:26.252
RIC makes a late dive at BOT into the chicane – BOT leaves just enough space for them both to make it through the turn – RIC takes P5

48: VES on the tail of PER
Radio for ALO telling him to keep up the pace because he might get to attack GRO; ALO laughs ๐Ÿ™‚

49: VES passes PER; PER decides to cut the corner – not even close to any contact

50/53: ROS, HAM, VET, RAI, RIC, BOT, VES, PER, MAS, HUL, GRO, BUT, ALO, GUT, SAI, ERI, MAG, OCO

51: RAI f/lap 1:26.016
ALO pits – that’s a late stop for supersofts; drops to P14

52: BUT on GRO’s tail but there’s only 2 laps left

53/53 = final lap: BUT has a look but decides not to attack GRO into the first chicane
ALO f/lap 1:25.340

ROS takes the chequered flag – his first win in Monza
That’s closed HAM’s championship lead to just 2 points

Provisional result: ROS, HAM, VET, RAI, RIC, BOT, VES, PER, MAS, HUL; GRO, BUT, GUT, ALO, SAI, ERI, MAG, OCO
DNF: KVY, WEH, PAL, NAS

Toto Wolff happy to win in “Ferrariland” ๐Ÿ™‚
ROS talking to VET in German in the cool-down / pre-podium room, excluding HAM
VET almost puts on the 1st place cap

VET gets a massive cheer from the Tifosi as he walks to the podium
Boos for HAM or ROS as they head out
Great shot from behind the drivers, looking out at the huge crowd

Christian Horner said VES had anti-stall kick in at the start
GP2 driver Pierre Gasly is reported by Italian media as saying he’ll replace KVY in the next race (Singapore); Toro Rosso boss Dr Helmut Marko says that’s rubbish and will be calling Gasly. Whoops!